Looking for immortality: Review of phytotherapy for stem cell senescence

Document Type: Review Article


1 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s): In this paper, we discussed natural agents with protective effects against stem cell senescence. Different complications have been observed due to stem cell senescence and the most important of them is “Aging”. Senescent cells have not normal function and their secretary inflammatory factors induce chronic inflammation in body which causes different pathologies. Stem cell senescence also has been investigated in different diseases or as drug adverse effects.
Materials and Methods: We searched databases such as Embase, Pubmed and Web of Science with keywords “stem cell”, “progenitor cell”, “satellite”, “senescence” and excluded keywords “cancer”, “tumor”, “malignancy” and “carcinoma” without time limitation until May 2019. Among them we chose 52 articles that have investigated protective effects of natural agents (extracts or molecules) against cellular senescence in different kind of adult stem cells.
Results: Most of these studies were in endothelial progenitor cells, hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells and few were about other kinds of stem cells. Most studied agents were resveratrol and ginseng which are also commercially available as supplement. Most protective molecular targets were telomerase and anti-oxidant enzymes to preserve genome integrity and reduce senescence-inducing signals.
Conclusion: Due to the safe and long history of herbal usage in clinic, phytotherapy can be used for preventing stem cell senescence and their related complication. Resveratrol and ginseng can be the first choice for this aim due to their protective mechanisms in various kinds of stem cells and their long term clinical usage.


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